too many words by laura lemay

found antique computer photos

A week or so ago BoingBoing had a post about found 1960’s computer photos{.broken_link}, which included this fabulous and unlikely picture of a terribly fashionable woman pulling up data center floor tiles.

I looked at those pictures and I thought, dimly, “I have some of these,” and then I had to go rooting around in my old dusty files to find them and scan them. I have nothing so good as Donna Reed plunging the floor but instead I give you four nerdy guys from the 70’s.

The guy on the right? That’s my dad. He worked in computers starting with the Univac in the early 60’s, when high tech actually was a series of tubes.

I have a very very vague memory of being left to play in this server room — or one just like it — when I was very small. I think someone printed a picture of snoopy on the line printer for me. Obviously something must have rubbed off since I ended up working in the computer industry as well. (perhaps that’s the real way to get women into computers — let them play in the office at age four?)

Note in this picture A. The floor tile suckers in the bottom left corner — they’re everywhere! and B. the anachronistic sight of an ashtray on the desk full of cigarettes. Wow.

While I was rooting around I also found this picture, apparently from the same day. The mess of cables here goes a long way toward explaining the mess of cables in my own office. It’s genetic! It’s not my fault!